If it’s not one “situation-ship”, then it’s another. Between talking, texting, and going on a few dates. the merry-go-round of love or what we perceive love to be has been a tremendous headache post-2019 for me and many young people like myself who believe that we can have our cake, and eat it too, over and over again.
There are plenty of theories about why a surprising number of individuals, currently in their 20s and early 30s, are avoiding serious relationships. Some researchers blame a dependency on social media while others point to millennials’ decreased need for commitment.
Being a millennial who intends on living her best life, I agree with the theory of not wanting commitment but for various different reasons.
Painful memories of their parents’ failed marriages are one of the things that leads the younger generation to seek out alternatives.
Growing up, it was rare for me to see a relationship that existed past the honeymoon stage. My parents never married, my grandparents divorced at a young age and I’ve never had a clear image of what “black love” was.
Now, this isn’t to say that my parents/grandparents did not have a loving, affectionate relationship, but from my personal experience and what I’ve been exposed to in my younger years, being committed while in a relationship has always been a struggle due to my fear of being open and vulnerable.
Why are so many millennial’s single?
Where older generations felt rushed to find someone to share their life with, young adults are more likely to wait for a significant other who possesses all the qualities they really care about than to settle for less just to keep from being alone.
Falling in love was challenging enough before the digital age, but now with so many people relying on dating apps to meet someone special, dating is more complicated and impersonal. In 2013, The New York Times questioned whether twentysomethings’ tech dependence was leading to the “end of courtship”.
Instead of taking the time out to really get acquainted, we are constantly looking for the next best thing, even if what we have in front of us is enough.
Up until the late 20th century marriage wasn’t just desirable, it was almost seen as necessary, especially for women,
The pressure of getting married and having children have pushed many singles especially women, over the edge (besides online dating).
Considering how many people in their 20s were raised by divorced parents, it’s not surprising that millennials tend to be cynical toward the institution of marriage. Painful memories of their parents’ failed marriages are one of the things that leads the younger generation to seek out alternatives
There’s hasn’t been a time in my 20’s where someone didn’t ask me “do you want to get married?” or “when are you going to have children?”. I cringe at those types of questions because I feel like its putting a mental clock on my ovaries.
And I don’t need that type of negativity in my life.
The New Monogamy
While open relationships are nothing new, millennials seem to be embracing the idea more than previous generations and inventing a lot of interesting variations on the concept.
For many young singles who are dating and exploring, the new monogamy is a type of polyamory in which the goal is to have one long-standing relationship and a willingness to openly acknowledge that the long-standing relationship might not meet each partner’s emotional and sexual needs for all time.
Having friends who have experienced some variation of the new monogamy, as well as not wanting to get married, have children or downloading a new dating app, it’s not difficult to understand why young people are opting out of traditional real-life relationships.